Businesses choose to outsource their information technology (I.T.) systems for a variety of reasons. Outsourcing benefits both the company as a whole, and your employees. Take a moment to read about some of the benefits of I.T. outsourcing, and how it can work for you. Read More
Back in July, Microsoft revealed two business applications set to change the way more casual business owners examine their business data. GigJam and Cortana Analytics Suite both use the Cortana personal assistant originally designed for the Windows Phone (and now incorporated into Windows 10), and were presented as a way to make IT-powered business processes more understandable and accessible. Read on to see how these two new tools can help your business adopt the Cortana Treatment. Read More
It’s hard not to talk about computer history without mentioning Apple computers. Computer design and capability have obviously come a long way since the Apple-1, but it’s important to identify some of the early pioneers of the personal computer movement. Without computer clubs and visionaries like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who knows how different the industry may have turned out. Read More
The wild world of computers is just that, wild. Setting up networks and configuring settings is something that should be handled by someone who knows what they’re doing so that it is done properly. Your business is important and should be treated seriously. Having a poorly maintained or managed IT system is going to make you look bad down the line. What if you’re having a client meeting when the internet goes out and no one is there to fix it? Rather than stumble alone in the dark, let us show you the way to a positive relationship with your computers. Are you ready to learn more about the benefits of working with a professional IT solutions company? Read More
Tom Wheeler, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission(More commonly referred to as the FCC) took the opportunity to use his annual speech at the international Consumer Electronics Show to declare his resounding support for net neutrality, promising to work towards bringing unfettered and equal internet access to all of America. Wheeler’s remarks have a great bearing on the heated net neutrality debate and essentially signify that internet service provider’s days of charging for premium access will likely soon be over.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the concept that the internet should be an equal-access utility. Currently, large internet service providers allow companies to pay a premium price for what is essentially an internet “fast lane.” The argument for this practice is that it encourages investment and innovation, and creating a separate, faster internet frees up traffic to smaller businesses and websites. Net neutrality proponents argue that this is not the case and that the practice is simply used by ISPs to pocket more money. They also contend that it incentivizes ISPs to artificially slow down consumer internet traffic to force them to pay premium prices.
What is Likely to Happen?
Wheeler’s remarks confirm that the FCC’s planned unveiling of new rules for ISPs (to be revealed on Feb. 5) will include classifying ISPs as “common carriers,” under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. The most important part of this legislation is a clause that states that “All charges, practices, classifications and regulations for and in connection with such communication services shall be just and reasonable…” This would give the FCC increased oversight over internet service providers and allow them to enforce net neutrality. In his interview with Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro, Wheeler stated “we need to propose a rule that says there will be no blocking [of internet access], no throttling, no paid prioritization. We need a yardstick against which [ISPs’] performance should be measured.” Wheeler is well-supported within the FCC and while that organization will certainly attempt to place ISPs under firmer jurisdiction, many congressional republicans and ISPs have already started drafting bills and lawsuits to attempt to stop it.
How Will it Affect Me?
In the short term we’re unlikely to see immediate change. However, if the FCC can firm up congressional support for their rules then ISPs will be forced to drop prices and offer faster speeds to many consumers. In the meantime, it’s important to keep your business and your office network in top shape. We’re a Maryland based company with years of experience managing networks of both large and small businesses, as well as a team of highly dedicated, well-trained technical experts who stay on the cutting edge of network management so you don’t have to.
To talk to someone about network management for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.
In today’s fast paced and increasingly digital world, stories on companies being hacked are, unfortunately, not unusual. However, as revelations pile up, it appears that a hack perpetrated on Sony Pictures on 11/24 is anything but usual. Attacks like these highlight the importance of maintaining top-notch cybersecurity and Working Nets is here with the details.
Around 11am, Monday, November 24th, emails began to circulate around Sony Pictures employees instructing them to stop using their computers, corporate email accounts, and cell phone wifi access. As the news traveled it became clear that hackers had seized an estimated 11,000 gigabytes of data that may have included personal passwords, financial information, passport and visa info of cast and crew along with info regarding Sony’s IT systems. As Sony began to look for possible perpetrators, even more information was found floating around on the web, including the movies Annie, Mr. Turner, and Still Alice, which have not yet been released in theatres. Further investigation into the leaked files turned up employee criminal background checks, salary negotiations, and medical information as well as the script for an unreleased pilot written by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. All this information makes the Sony Pictures hack easily the worst corporate hack in recorded history.
How Can I Protect My Business?
Well, you can start by not angering North Korea. Sony has publicly speculated that the attack may be a form of retaliation against the upcoming release of The Interview, a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogan wherein they play characters who attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Of course, the likelihood that your business has threatened the DPRK is very low, but that doesn’t mean these kinds of attacks couldn’t happen to you. If your cybersecurity isn’t being professionally monitored and updated, your business could have serious vulnerabilities you might not even know about.
Protect Your Business With Cybersecurity From Working Nets
At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.
To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.
According to the Chinese zodiac were in the year of the Horse, but IT professionals are starting to see it as the year of the bug. With Heartbleed and Shellshock IT security has had a tough enough time keeping up with emerging security threats, but now there’s a new bug on the horizon: Poodle. Working nets is here with the details on this new IT security threat and what you can do to combat it and keep your Baltimore business safe.
So What is Poodle?
Poodle, an acronym which stands for Padding Oracle On Downloaded Legacy Encryption, was discovered, like the Heartbleed and Shellshock vulnerabilities, in a 15 year old technology: SSL 3.0, which stands for Secure Socket Layer 3.0, is a technology that is widely used today to encrypt a user’s browsing session, particularly if they are using a public network or device. The Poodle vulnerability presents the potential for hackers to observe and even hijack a browsing session, taking control of somone’s online banking, email, or social networking accounts. Three IT security researchers at Google announced the discovery of the Poodle vulnerability last month.
How Dangerous Is Poodle?
In response to the announcement the OpenSSL Project, developers of the most used SSL applications, advised makers of web-browsers to disable support for SSL 3.0. IT security experts seem to agree that Poodle is much less of a threat than Heartbleed or Shellshock, in large part because SSL has been largely superseded by a newer security protocol called TLS. Additionally to pull off an attack the victim must be actively browsing on the same network at the same time as an attacker, giving Poodle a much smaller window of vulnerability.
How Can I Stay Safe?
To be safe, make sure your browser is up to date and not using SSL 3.0. If this is impossible, stay away from using a public network, or network that unfamiliar users can log on to, while conducting secure transactions, managing sensitive emails, or other information that you wouldn’t want others seeing. To make sure your Baltimore company’s sensitive data is being protected, consider outsourcing your IT security to a dedicated professional.
Staying on top of everything can be a hassle, especially if you’re already running your own Baltimore business. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company.
To talk to someone about managed IT for your small Baltimore business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.
This month’s security breach notwithstanding, Apple has been a beacon of new technology and innovation for decades now and the new release of iPhone 6 and iOS 8 are a big part of that. The release of the Apple Watch early next year may push the boundaries of technology even farther. Though they’re following up on the already released Samsung Watch, Apple promises to bring a few different and upgraded features to the table – we’ll focus on that sometime in the future, though. For the moment, let’s talk about iOS 8 and how it’s going to affect small business technology.
Features of iOS 8 and iPhone 6
- Better integration – As usual, how well your integration between your devices works is going to depend on what types of devices you use. For those who are already Apple converts, the new operating system is going to be a nice upgrade. Apple has made it even easier to share information and document back and forth between your different devices, including Mac and iPad. The app used to do this is called “Handoff” and it will allow you to transfer information from your mail app, Safari app, and more. You’ll also be able to answer calls directly from your Mac or iPad if you have Wi-Fi connection. As for its benefits to small business technology, this will make it easier to move information around on the go.
- Health and fitness – Companies that work in the health industry may find iOS 8 to be more useful than any operating system before it. It will make it easy for patients and clients to share health information regarding exercises that they’ve done and duration of those exercises. It’s a great way to keep patients and clients in check and to help improve their health – from calories burned to cholesterol levels.
- iCloud – This might be the most useful feature for iOS 8. If you don’t know how the cloud works, it essentially allows you to store your files on a remote database that you can access from anywhere with Wi-Fi at any time. The iCloud allows you to access any and all of your files from your Mac or even from your PC whenever you need them. The great part about it is that if you make edits on your iPad, they’ll also show up on your iPhone automatically. The cloud is becoming more and more useful all the time and small businesses are beginning to see the value of using cloud within their entire company.
Staying on Top of Small Business Technology
The best way to move your business forward is to make sure that you’re keeping up with the newest technology available. It’s not always easy to do that on your own. Outsourcing your IT ensures that you’ll get the newest updates as soon as they pop up and that you’ll have someone to advise you on all of the workings of the technological world! To talk to someone about outsourced IT for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.
Computers are as much a part of our everyday lives as eating and sleeping. It is almost 100% guaranteed that you will interact with a computer or other piece of technology at some point every day. In fact, a recent survey showed that you’re likely to have just as many electronic interactions as you are to have face-to-face interactions in today’s world. This statistic is even more prevalent for small businesses that require a lot of technology to operate. If you think about it, nearly everything that you do for your company requires you to use a computer of some sort. This brings us to our first point.
Why is Data Backup Important?
Have you ever thought about all of the information stored in a piece of equipment that can easily fit on your desk? Now, have you ever considered what would happen if that piece of equipment was destroyed or decided to fail one day? You could lose relevant financial information, client information, and more. Data backup is important in a few different cases:
- Your computer fails
- Your computer is destroyed in a disaster
- Someone steals your information
- Your data becomes corrupted
If any of these things happen, you want to know that your data is in more than one place; you also want to make sure that the second place is safe, though. That brings us to point number 2!
How Should I Back Up My Data?
There are many different options for backing up your important data. It all depends on what technology you know how to use and what you think will work well for your company. The following options are some popular data backup options:
- The Cloud – It sounds a lot more complicated and ethereal than it is. Saving to the cloud basically means that you’re saving to a remote database that you can access from any computer. Using a cloud computing service will allow you to back up and share information.
- External Hard Drive – The only problem with external hard drives is that they also have the ability to crash and are susceptible to physical disasters. If you do back up to an external hard drive, it’s advisable that you password protect it and store it somewhere different than your primary computer.
- Flash Drives – If you need a quick way to back up your data and take it with you somewhere, a flash drive is the answer. It doesn’t offer as much space as an external hard drive or cloud computing service, but it essentially does the same job. Flash drives are tiny, so you also have to be careful not to lose it.
Backup and Recovery Experts
Data protection and recovery is crucial. Working Nets assures that your vital business data is kept secure if disaster strikes. We have knowledgeable experts on staff who can make sure that your IT needs are covered and that all of your information is safe. To talk to someone about data backup and recovery for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.
Odds are that your business relies on technology in one form or another, whether it is invoicing, record keeping, accounting, or any one of the numerous other technologically-driven business tasks out there. So with so much of your company’s future success relying on computers, how often do you backup your data?
Astonishingly, only 25% of computer users regularly backup their data!
Of companies that experience a major loss of business data, only 6% survive, 51% close within 2 years, and 43% never recover. So let me ask you again…how often do you backup your business data?
Other Important Questions to Address:
- Where do you backup your data to?
- Where do you keep the backup media files?
- How often do you test your restores?
When you suffer data loss, you want to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. And to ensure this happens, you must have a redundant disaster recovery system in place. The more redundant your systems, the less you will suffer.
Disaster Recover and Data Backup Tips & Tricks
- Software: If you utilize specific software and other applications to run your business, be sure you have copies stored offsite.
- Passwords: Be sure to have your passwords stored in a secure location offsite. After all, what good is restoring your data if you cannot access it?
- Alerts: If it is possible, have alerts setup to notify you when your critical systems are down.
- Document Everything: Be sure to document step-by-step instructions to get your computers back up and running. This needs to include your restore procedures (how to get the backup software and media, and any documentation needed to operate that software and media), any vendor information (account numbers and system credentials), and a list of the software you use.
If you have any questions about Disaster Recover and Backups, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!
Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!
At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.
At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!